In response to changes in technology, the ways in which people engage with contemporary culture, and in line with the innovative stance Tate has taken with its online partner, BT, to make art accessible to vast audiences via the internet, Tate is launching Tate Media in September 2006. Tate Media’s purpose is to help serve Tate’s audiences better and attract new audiences by providing access to material that Tate has not been able to offer before. Tate Media will also offer a forum for further collaboration with the Creative Industries.
Tate Media will provide a framework in which the talent and intellectual property within Tate can be harnessed to maximum effect to reach far beyond the gallery walls. Tate Media will operate across the following platforms – online, TV production, major public events and magazine publishing – and will work closely with a number of partners, including artists and broadcasters to create the necessary content.
BT will be instrumental in transforming Tate’s website into a digital broadband arts channel over the next three years to allow people of all ages anywhere in the world to research, enjoy and participate in the visual arts. The channel will build on the success of Tate Online, the most popular visual arts website in the UK, which currently attracts almost 1 million unique visitors a month. BT will enable Tate to make this possible by helping provide the necessary creative design services and technical support. Content will be commissioned and produced for the website and channel to include fresh insights into Tate’s Collection and programme. Tate Media will own the rights to this material to realise the potential of ‘long tail’, enabling audiences to access the material from Tate in perpetuity.
The first Tate Media projects include the new bi-monthly events, UBS Openings: Saturday Live at Tate Modern – the second of which is Mumbai-themed will take place on 16 September; the co-production of a series of programmes with Channel Four on the Turner Prize 2006, to be aired in the autumn; and an interview with Tate Director Nicholas Serota and Howard Hodgkin in the current Hodgkin exhibition at Tate Britain (until 10 September), produced by Tate Media, to be broadcast on Artsworld. This will also be available on Tate Online.
Tate Media will continue to stage live events around its programme, following the success of the first recent major arts festival at Tate Modern, UBS Openings: The Long Weekend, and other initiatives such as Late at Tate and BP Saturdays at Tate Britain. In the future, Tate would like to work with partners to take these events to new locations around the country and beyond.
Will Gompertz, Director of Tate Media, said:
This is an incredibly exciting time for Tate, made possible by the digital age we live in and the valuable assets we have at Tate. Central to Tate’s mission, Tate Media will help make the Collection more accessible and interactive and improve the understanding and enjoyment of it. Thanks to our online partner, BT, who has renewed its contract for a further two years, we will be able to realise our ambitious plans of developing our website into a channel to inspire and engage a wider audience.
Paul Simon, Head of Sponsorship and Partner Marketing at BT, said:
BT has played a pivotal role in the development of Tate Online since our online partnership began in 2001. Our joint rationale of ‘art for all’ has used the online association to widen access to the arts and engage new audiences. BT has provided creative design services and technical support to Tate Online and has worked closely with Tate to bring ground breaking initiatives, using the possibilities of broadband, to create highly innovative designs, interfaces and interactive videos for Tate. The launch of Tate Media gives us an even stronger vehicle through which we can develop more exciting projects.